The New Big Bang
"Shares may slip as U.S. mood gets darker," reports Allison Jackson in today's Australian. Indeed. We've had some dark days in the last year here at the Old Hat Factory. But for whatever reason, today is one of the darkest that we can recall. Here's a warning. Today's Daily Reckoning is largely about the growing tension between individual liberty and the coercive power of governments. If that's not your cup of tea, you may want to duck out and have a coffee and join us tomorrow.
ABC Learning Centres Run Out of Lifelines
Here in Australia, ABC Learning Centres ran out of lifelines yesterday. The company owes creditors over $2.2 billion. People want their money back now (ANZ on the hook for $182 million, Westpac for $200 million). ABC Learning Centres don’t have it. What happens now? Will all those kids in the day care centres be kicked to the curb? Thrown out with their stuffed animals, runny noses, and Matchbox cars?...
First Black President of America Became a Feel-Good Brand
“Well, it’s great that a black man can be elected President in America. But it doesn’t exactly expiate the great national sin of slavery does it? Martin Luther King said he dreamt about an America where a man could be judged for the content of his character and not the colour of his skin. But it looks like most black people voted for Obama because he’s black, not because of what he believes. Not that it bothers me much...
Inflation in South Africa & the Global Commodity Cycle
The cost of living is cheap in South Africa. But it's going up, just like it is everywhere else. The government announced on Friday that the retail price of petrol and diesel would go up. Consumer price inflation in South Africa is running at about 8%. Curiously, the Friday release of producer price inflation has been delayed "indefinitely," according to Statistics SA. Some of the South Africans we've spoken to in the last six days worry that this country is headed in the direction of Zimbabwe.